Wonder Woman

Diana, princess of the amazons, leaves home to fight the ultimate battle and in doing so becomes Wonder Woman.  

  • Starring: Gal Gadot, Chris Pine
  • Director(s): Patty Jenkins
  • Producer(s): Charles Roven, Deborah Snyder, Zack Snyder, Richard Suckle
  • Screenwriter(s): Allen Heinberg, Zack Snyder, Jason Fuchs
  • Distributor: Warner Brothers
  • Animal Coordinator: The Devils Horsemen
  • Release Date: Friday, June 02, 2017
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

All horseback riders were stunt riders or experienced actors who were skilled at riding, mounting and dismounting. All running/galloping scenes were well choreographed, and actors used caution while on and near animals. The horse(s) rearing was a trained behavior. The horses were specially trained “falling horses” and “lay down horses” that fell on cue onto a soft landing area. When teams of horses pulled wagons or carriages, the drivers were experienced and teams of horses were familiar with each other and accustomed to the pulling action. Whenever horses were seen tied to posts/fences, they were attached to lead ropes tied to posts.

In the scene where we first encounter the Amazonian women fighting, practicing and a woman rides a horse into the vicinity, the horses were walked to the set by the trainers. The horses were staying in temporary stables ten minutes from the set. There are also peacocks in the vicinity. The peacocks have been kept on location for four days and have a quiet area for their sole use. Overnight they are placed in an enclosure that is fully fenced and enclosed, with bedding, feed and water. Trainers and American Humane Reps cleared the walkways for the horses. Between takes the horses were provided shade and water.

When we see the mother and daughter ride towards the tower with fellow soldiers in the background, all their weapons are fake. All the sand was raked and smoothed out prior to the horses riding on it. All horses were shod with rubber shoes.

In the scene when we see the young Wonder Woman practicing archery and the line of horses are standing on the ledge, the scene was shot on bluescreen to make it look as it were a ledge.

In the scene when the Amazonian women go to battle with the German soldiers, many rehearsals were performed. Production placed cones in position for rehearsals to mark the horse routes. The dead horse on the beach was a dummy. The beach was checked between takes for cables and debris. The battle itself was only filmed on a small portion of the beach, a green screen was used to cover a lot of the machinery. The battle itself was also shot in increments in many days. Sometimes the soldiers and the Amazonian riders were filmed separately. The boat in the water that’s on fire was created through special effects in post production. The choreographer set up the fight very carefully, designating stunt riders to particular horses, etc. Every move in the scene was rehearsed and constructed prior to filming.

In the same battles scene when the German soldiers shoot at the women on horseback, all guns were fired a safe distance from the horses. Stunts were gone through in a safety briefing and told not to fire towards the horses or anywhere near them. For rehearsals Tom gave hand signal when he rode over the mark that he was to rear and fall on during filming. The camera on speed rail. When the woman is shot and falls off her horse, the stunt riders and trainers marked the area exactly where the stuntwoman would fall off her horse. Once she fell off, trainers retrieved horse.

When we see the establishing shot of the Ottoman Empire and we see horses standing in front of the castle, all the horses were in good condition, experienced on set and remained calm and well behaved. All the horses were also handled by their trainers or grooms in costume. Additionally when we see the horses in the vicinity of the airstrip in Turkey, trainers rode horses to set, cantering from the entrance to the encampment through the middle of the camp. They were positioned together on their mark in the middle of the encampment. On action the two horses were moved around on the spot by the handlers as if the gunfire is making them unsettled.

In the scene where Chris Pine steals the plane and takes off and we see horses and carriages in the background, most of the gunfire was utilized and placed during post production. All horses well cared for and handled only by equine team members.

Prior to filming the scene a safety briefing was given to the whole crew which included informing everyone that there would be no firing when horses are near the guns.

Either way, all the horses wore earplugs.

In the scene where Wonder Woman and Max ride their horses to the dockside, the horses were actually ridden by their wranglers. They cut camera then filmed the actors getting off the horses.

When Wonder Woman and Max arrive at the London Streets and we see horses rigged to carts in the background, horses were brought to set by trainers and rigged to the carriages. On action, they moved from a very simple A to B trajectory. In all the London Street scenes, horses boxes were used to transport the horses to location. Upon arrival, the horses were given hay and water. They were placed on their marks by their groomsmen and prepped on how to lead them on action.

In the scene when we see the train pull into the docks and there are horses in the background, the horses stood side by side, facing the foot soldiers who walked through the middle of set towards train that will be added in post-production with CGI.

When we see the horses pulling a carriage from a muddy bank, there was a pair of driving horses in a trench filled with mud as if stuck in the mud pulling a cart. The two horses were placed in the trench, on their mark and rigged up to the cart. One of the trainers was in costume and stood at their head, while their other trainer stood behind them holding the driving reins. On action Bert used a driving whip and hit the cart behind the horses, giving the impression he was hitting the horses to get them to walk forward. Both grooms gave the impression of making the horses walk forward but both ensured that the horses stayed stationary as if stuck in the mud.

In the scene where we see the band of misfits getting their soldiers ready in the Town Square, trainers instructed the actors on how to work with horses.  

When we see Wonder Woman, Max and their team ride the horses through the woods towards the tower, prior to shooting all the horses were tacked up by the horse boxes and warmed up by the stunt doubles. Stunt riders rode the horses to their mark. On action, they rode the horses to the next mark.

In the scene where Wonder Woman starts to ride her horse at a gallop as she approaches the airfield, a trainer rode double for the actress playing Wonder Woman. A camera track was laid next to her A to B trajectory, capturing her ride.

In the scene where we see Wonder Woman get off the horse and walk towards the village, a mounting block was placed on the left side of the horse. On action, the actress ran towards the horse, stepped on the mounting block and vaulted on. Once she mounted the horse she turned right and rode at a trot down the pathway.

In the subsequent scene when Wonder Woman rides into the forest, pulls out her sword and knocks down a soldier, a stunt rider rode double for the actress for most of the takes. They filmed the stunt rider gallop past another stuntman and act as if she hits him with the plastic sword.

In the scene where Wonder Woman stands on the horse’s saddle, and vaults off the horse and over a gate, like the other scenes before it, this one was a mixture of shots. Some close-ups of the actress playing Wonder Woman. And some shots of the stunt rider. Wonder Woman’s vault off the horse was added in post production. They were able to do this by having a stunt rider wear a green suit, so they could eradicate his image in post.